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 Old 07-14-2017, 09:01 AM   #1
 
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Default Tires or Wheels

So I've been doing a good bit of research, but I now have more specific question.

A local guy is selling a set of Blizzaks 215/60R16 for cheap. The pics show a good bit of tread left, but I'll be seeing them in person before buying. No wheel, just the tires.

First question would be, will they feel much different/perform any different on 7.5" alloys vs. 6.5" steelies? Not a huge price difference, so I'm not really concerned there.

Another guy selling a set of 215/50R17 for a bit more than the first guy. Would there really be much difference in the 16" vs. the 17" to justify the higher price? From what I've read a larger sidewall is better for snow, but they both have good tread and studs. I also live in CO, where they don't know what a plow is. But they don't use nearly as much salt as the east coast, so at least there's that.
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 Old 07-14-2017, 10:53 AM   #2
 
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My experience, which is across a couple of cars so it might not necessrily be universal, is that if the assembly is heavier (alloy summers, steel winters) then they ride worse. But winters on alloys so the tire/wheel assembly is lighter than the summer setup ride better than the summer setup. I also notice the difference in suspension control over the wheel movement with the lighter setup. Less so with the alloy/lighter alloy scenario but when I had the alloy/steelie setup I noticed the suspension felt less damped with the higher unsprung weight.

If you question is more related to width stretch, get a list of the wheel width and tire size combinations for that tire, e.g. from Tire Rack. If the configurations are listed in the approved fitments you're OK, if they're not don't use them. At least that's what I'd do.

Some 16s have fitment issues on speeds; there are stories of people having to have wheel weights moved etc that I wanted to avoid so I just did 17" winters. You'll have to decide your own risk tolerance vs. price, or maybe negotiate to check fitment on the 16's before sale. 16's are probably a better risk in steelies because rim weights rather than stick-on weights.
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 Old 07-15-2017, 09:41 AM   #3
 
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Thank you, really appreciate that. I've read enough accounts of 16s fitting on MS3's that I wasn't too worried, but I'll keep the wheel weight issue in mind.

Either way, I need a set of wheels to put either of these tires on and I'll probably be driving them for at least 1/3 of the year.

Had another thought while looking at wheels retail and used: one of my good friends from college had some wheels that he couldn't use during winter due to them coming unbalanced with even just a small amount of snow. Or so he said, is this a real issue? Never really looked into it until now, but should I be worried about the shape/design of the wheel spokes and whatnot? Couldn't really find any information through searching.
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 Old 07-15-2017, 06:39 PM   #4
 
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I'm guessing some designs are going to be more prone to getting snow/ice stuck inside the rim, but it's probably not a real issue. I've never had it happen on the MS3, and the Outback has only dealt with that after I've done major donuts in a snowy parking lot. I've found there's a few places snow builds up when I'm doing that...
That being said, getting snow/ice inside the rim will unbalance the wheels. Those tiny wheels weights make a huge difference, and it doesn't take much snow to equal that mass.
So I wouldn't base any decisions on that factor, but if you're driving through really heavy snow it's a good idea to check when you stop and knock out any accumulation.
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 Old 07-16-2017, 08:13 AM   #5
 
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Great, thanks. I had been skeptical when he had said that was an issue, but his car, his diagnosis. I never drove it in snow, let alone enough to get any snow into the wheels.
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 Old 07-17-2017, 10:34 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by PlatinumCore16 View Post
Had another thought while looking at wheels retail and used: one of my good friends from college had some wheels that he couldn't use during winter due to them coming unbalanced with even just a small amount of snow. Or so he said, is this a real issue? Never really looked into it until now, but should I be worried about the shape/design of the wheel spokes and whatnot? Couldn't really find any information through searching.
I have also had wheels unbalanced by snow/ice. However it has never lasted very long, it either fixed itself as I got into the drive, or it went away after an overnight in an attached garage that stays above freezing. And while we get snow, we don't get big snow events very often anymore. I'm pretty sure it's usually, as mentioned, that it was only after an identifiable event going through lots of snow. And I've never had a set that would unbalance with almost anything. That sounds really strange. Anyway most populated areas have a spray-it car wash, just stop at one and spend a buck fiddy to blow it out.
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